school funding

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas legislative committee has delayed work on a report that recommends ways to overhaul public schools. The committee is supposed to review K-12 education and make recommendations the Legislature can use when writing a new school funding formula.

Republican state Rep. Ron Ryckman moved to delay work on the final report. He says that will give legislative staffers a chance to review the document and identify where individual suggestions are coming from.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / KPR

The Kansas Legislature is getting ready to go back to work next week and the agenda is packed.

At issue is school funding and the how the Kansas Supreme Court will respond to a lawsuit brought by four school districts. The court will decide whether the state is spending enough per pupil. Also the block grant funding of the schools is set to expire in 2017, and other methods of distributing state aid to schools will certainly come up.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he and many Kansas legislators won't be ready to consider big increases in aid to public schools until they are confident that enough of the money already spent on education is finding its way into the classroom.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Kansas lawmakers tasked with making school finance recommendations have heard conflicting arguments about whether more money for schools means better student performance.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / KPR

Attorneys for the state say it’s up to lawmakers and the governor to decide if Kansas is spending enough money on education. They made that argument in a filing before the Kansas Supreme Court. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, at issue is whether the Kansas is spending enough to satisfy the state’s Constitution.

Shannan Muskopf, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas students' scores on national reading and math scores tended to rise and fall along with school funding levels, according to a report by the Kansas Association of School Boards.

The board says student performance on national math and reading tests improved between 2003 and 2007 before leveling off until 2011, when it began to fall, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Sean Sandefur

A panel of state officials has approved more than $4 million in emergency aid for 25 Kansas school districts that requested the additional funding. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the money was mostly provided to districts with enrollment growth or falling property values.

Michael B. / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments today over the issue of equitable funding for the state's school districts.

Stephen McAllister, an attorney for the state, said lawmakers complied with earlier court rulings by increasing state funding to help reduce inequities. He says lawmakers tried to lock in the funding with a temporary block grant system while they write a new school funding plan.

Bryan Thompson

Nearly 40 Kansas school districts will be asking a panel of lawmakers today for additional state funding.

The requests are from districts that have seen falling property values because of reduced oil prices or have seen increases in their student populations. Those are variables not taken into account in the state’s new block grant system for school funding.

DoDEA Pacific, flickr Creative Commons

Top Republican legislators are asking Kansas school districts seeking extra state aid to provide information about how they've become more efficient in recent years.

Four GOP legislative leaders sent a letter Wednesday to the superintendents of 38 school districts that have applied for extra aid under the state's new education funding law. The districts are seeking about $15 million in funds, but only $12.3 million is available under the law.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter after the state Department of Education sent it.

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